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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: Dixon’s class of classes

Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …

>> My Friday column looks ahead — way ahead — to Pitt’s 2012-13 basketball team, which could be their most talented ever given the recent recruits.

Doesn’t mean they’ll win. Just talking about talent. Keep in mind that everyone was all excited about Dante Taylor arriving as an All-American, and look where that’s gone.

>> In my extensive talk with Jamie Dixon for this piece, one question he asked was this: How many one-and-done players have won the NCAA championship?

The only one I could cite was Carmelo Anthony. In fact, that was the only one either of us could think of, though we weren’t exactly doing the research.

Can you think of anyone else?

And if you can’t, what does it say about the much-romanticized notion of having the one-and-done freshmen and going for immediate glory?

>> I can’t stand the Lightning’s brand of hockey, and that didn’t change last night even though the Penguins fairly easily found their way through the 1-3-1. But that ended up having precious little to do with their 4-1 loss in Tampa. This was all Dwayne Roloson, the 42-year-old goalie who looks like he just laughs off facing this particular opponent.

>> Franco Harris is getting dumped every which he turns, including by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl yesterday, and there are the predictable howls about free speech, due process and all that.

It’s a free country. Harris has a right to speak his mind, but companies and even governmental entities have a right to fire him for it. They can’t jail him, but they most certainly can fire him.

This isn’t complicated.

>> Today marks the deadline for the Pirates to set their roster for the Rule 5 draft, and this always has been a bigger even than it should be in these parts. Among the 46 eligible minor-league players, these are my choices to be protected: Starling Marte, Rudy Owens, Justin Wilson, Aaron Pribanic, Jordy Mercer and Matt Hague.

That’s one more player than the Pirates have spots on the 40-man roster, but that shouldn’t be an issue given the fringe of that roster.

>> Thanks to all who participated in our weekly chat yesterday.

>> Happy Light-Up Night to all. Suburbanites, behave yourselves. Some call this little Triangle home.

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